Ethical Responsibilities and the International Lawyer: Mind the Gaps
Lauren R. Frank   |   2000 U. Ill. L. Rev.

As more American lawyers are practicing abroad, the result of a growing global market, additional ethical questions are presented. More specifically, attorneys' responsibilities have changed: in addi-tion to knowing the law, transnational attorneys must also understand the cultures, traditions, and languages of the foreign societies in which they practice. Also crucial is an understanding of foreign codes of professional conduct, which can differ markedly from the American Bar Association's Model Rules used in the United States.

In this student note, the author details relevant provisions of the Model Code, then compares them both to the codes of selected Euro-pean countries and, more broadly, to a multinational code the Euro-pean Community has fashioned. Important differences in areas such as conflicts of interest and attorney-client privilege are illustrated.

Finally, the author proposes that American attorneys working abroad undergo a formal certification process to ensure their profi-ciency and understanding of these ethical issues. Suggestions for both law students and practicing attorneys are offered.